Master’s close within site for campus security director

Ken Kennedy, director and manager of the DPS, is writing his master´s thesis this Spring.

Ken Kennedy, director and manager of the DPS, is writing his master´s thesis this Spring.

For one Missouri Southern faculty member, going back to school was just a matter of continuing his pursuit of an education.

Ken Kennedy, director and manager of the Department of Safety, will be completing his master’s program thesis this semester to graduate from Central Missouri State University.

“It’s kind of like a hobby,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy’s thesis is completed, campus police versus campus security and will require help from student surveys.

“It’s just good to know all the facts when you serve the students and faculty,” he said.

Surveys have been sent out through campus e-mails at semi-random intervals. Expecting a 25 percent return rate, he sent out 400 surveys at a time hoping to get back at least 100. Kennedy asked that any student receiving one of the e-mails to complete the attached survey.

The work, however, has not kept Kennedy down.

“Taking classes are more fun when you are older and appreciate them,” he said.

Kennedy received his bachelor’s from Southern in 2000 as the outstanding law enforcement graduate and began his work on his master’s just more than three years ago.

Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant, is Kennedy’s supervisor.

“I think it’s wonderful for Ken,” Harrington said. “It’s obviously good for anyone to continue an education.”

He said Kennedy has worked hard for the campus and hopes to use Kennedy’s work on his thesis in the security work at Southern.

“He’s been a tremendous help,” Harrington said.

The thesis work will be used in discussions with the Southern administration to show the strengths and weaknesses of different types of campus security.

Dr. Joe Vaughn, chair of the criminal justice department at CMSU, is Kennedy’s thesis adviser.

“He chose a topic that has immediate applications to his job,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn said he encourages his students to choose practical topics and focus on new and important views within those topics.

“This thesis will give him the ability to do some thoughtful reflection,” he said.

Vaughn said Kennedy was a hard worker and dedicated to his thesis work.

“I’m sure those qualities carry over to his job he has on campus,” he said.

Vaughn said because Kennedy was a distance learner, it required more work on Kennedy’s part to take the classes, most of which were through televised networks or online.

Overall, however, Vaughn said Kennedy’s thesis will be practical not only for his job but for others down the road.

“It is one that won’t just sit on a library shelf where no one will read it,” he said.

Kennedy intends to make the thesis applicable to his career.

“Hopefully, it’ll make me better at the job I have now,” Kennedy said.

Harrington believes the thesis will also be useful to Kennedy, but attributes much of the help to Kennedy’s personality.

“He can’t help but help us,” Harrington said.

Kennedy will graduate in May, but he said he is not sure if he will walk in the ceremony.